Sufficiency vs Necessity --- EC Effortpost

Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
edited November 2020 in Off-topic 952 karma

Now that the 2020 election is (mostly) behind us, I wanted to share how LR has completely taken over my life. On election night, I couldn't stop thinking about sufficiency vs necessity. Some pundits and social media users were freaking out about one state in particular -- Florida. I'm not a poli-sci guy, but if you understand the electoral college you'll know the following two conditionals are pretty close to accurate:

  • If D wins Florida → D wins election

But D didn't win Florida, so can we conclude that D won't win the election? NO! What about WI, MI, & PA? Not to mention, there's also AZ and GA. I believe many people confused sufficiency and necessity. D failed the sufficient condition. We can't conclude anything else about D. (Bonus Point Flaw: Florida may be an unrepresentative sample of the general electorate).

  • If R wins election → R wins Florida

R won Florida, so can we conclude that R will win the election? NO! Once again, the sufficiency-necessity error. R needed to win Florida to have a shot at 270 electoral votes. Winning the state certainly helps R's chances, but it doesn't guarantee a victory.

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